This article was originally published on StudentLoanHero.com and was written by Andrew Pentis. Student Loan Hero combines easy-to-use tools with financial literacy to help the millions of Americans living with student loan debt to manage and repay their loans. Student Loan Hero has helped over 100,000 borrowers manage and eliminate over $ 2 billion in student debt since 2012 and help over 3.5 million people become financially healthier every year.
A graduate and a non-profit organization, Jack Legg, and his wife accepted their student loan debt of $ 80,000 online.
Still enlisted and engaged in a Ph.D., Andrew Daniel Rocha did the same with his growing debt of $ 37,280.65.
You are not alone In seeking free money to pay off student loans, many graduates are turning to sites like Indiegogo Generosity, YouCaring, and GoFundMe to find an audience.
“Many people are ashamed to ask for help, I was there for a long time until I realized that there are people who are more than happy to help,” said Rocha, who earned nearly $ 6,000 through her campaign. “The strangers are examples, the friends who give $ 5 are examples”.
Let’s go over the pros and cons of student crowdfunding loans by observing what worked (and what not) for Legg and Rocha.
1. CHOOSE THE CORRECT SITE AND THE number of DOLLARS in STUDENT LOANS
Legg and his wife found themselves in a family situation: making budgets and lending to students every month without being able to make much of their debt. They repaid the loans they could and made minimum payments on what they could not pay, like a PLUS parent loan inherited from Legg’s parents.
“It was an incredibly slow scan,” said Legg.
And it led to an unconventional idea.
STUDENT LOANS Asking for money online began with choosing the right place to do it. Legg considered the most recognized GoFundMe before knowing that YouCaring would allow him and his wife to stay close to 100% of income. (GoFundMe applies a five percent commission, both sites work with payment processors that take 2.9 percent of the funds and 30 cents for each transaction).
Then, the Leggs decided to be “bold” (their word) by asking $ 80,000. They did it in a unique way: they asked 20 to 4,000 people.
“There is a sense of taboo, talking about what is due and so on,” said Legg. “I pointed out that we were not late, we just wanted to speed up the process of restitution, if people thought we were in trouble, they would be less likely to help STUDENT LOANS”.
Although the Leggs consider their results ($ 2,800 collected over two years) to be a success, they failed to cancel their debt.
Rocha, who also chose YouCaring to save money for their benefactors, started much smaller, brings his page “Every little help …” only increased his request to $ 10,000 when he knew he would not qualify for teaching in the state of the University of Arizona.
In about three years, it has raised more than $ 5,600.
“I was working as much as possible, so this was asking for help,” Rocha direct loans, a graduate of 2017 has subsidized and unsubsidized, Perkins loans and the federal government said. “STUDENT LOANS I was not trying to cover the $ 60,000 [of tuition fees]”.
Unlike the Leggs, whose salaries have stagnated in the non-profit world, Rocha may be on the way to the best form of debt relief: a good income. The optical engineers, the colleagues he hopes to join, earn an average salary of over $ 85,000, according to PayScale.
If you’re looking for a career that works well, maybe, like Rocha, you just need a little help until your education really pays off.
2. START WITH YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY AND EXPAND STUDENT LOANS
When Rocha and Legg asked their nearest circles to share their YouCaring links, they asked for exposure and money.
Then they diversified with acquaintances, friends of friends and professional contacts. Rocha got her college to share her bond with the school’s biggest audience. Legg found the success by including his YouCaring link in a huge email to his colleagues.
Most of the 42 donations of Legg come from people he knows. But some strangers saw a post on Facebook or Twitter and got in touch to provide support.
Rocha, meanwhile, has estimated that a third of his donations come from people who have never met, including a friend of a friend on Facebook who offered $ 100. Another strange, identified as “Santa Claus” gave $ 500 in December 2014 before continuing with a second gift of $ 500 per genna 2015
3. CREATE A POSITIVE CONVERSATION ON DEBT AID STUDENT LOANS
By asking for online help, Legg has all the answers you can imagine. Some commentators told him that it was “what is wrong in the United States” because he had an “authorized mentality”.
Others asked why he deserved his charity, considering that children from other countries are starving.
“I made a real point of not being on the defensive,” said Legg. “Being in a combat relationship shoots from the beginning”.
Instead, Legg tried to show a lighter tone with every weekly or bi-weekly publication she would share on social networks. He created comic memes using online generators.
The style of self-criticism increased the actions and earned him the skeptics of his requests for help with the debt.
Showing humility through humor could also be the right path for you and your fundraising efforts.
4. SHARE YOUR SINGLE HISTORY TO BUILD THE MOMENT STUDENT LOANS
Both borrowers have had a positive message. They did it in different ways. Legg used his jokes as a starting point to talk about how his job as a family counselor would help his community cope with its darkest realities: drugs, poverty and even trafficking in human beings.
Rocha, who is now earning a doctorate in optical sciences, would go straight to her own story. He excelled escaping from his neighborhood of East Los Angeles full of bands. He also said that he lived in his car while signing up for a community college.
“Perhaps this is my recipe, but the format of how I wrote the introduction [YouCaring] was very similar to a personal statement for a grant,” said Rocha. “I made sure that whenever I did an update and share it, it was as positive as possible and [I was] grateful.”
She will also publish a dozen fundraising updates on YouCaring to keep her donors involved in her progress. He wanted the donors to become fanatics who cheered him up while he sought help with his debts.
Involving their donors even after their donation proved to be useful for Rocha. It makes some people donate a second time.
5. BE TRANSPARENT AS POSSIBLE STUDENT LOANS
There is a common obstacle for students and graduates like Rocha and Legg who are trying out crowdfunding student loans. Their initiatives sound noble, but they also sound as if they were too good to be true.
Being open about what you need and, more specifically, what you need can do a lot.
Legg did not provide his tax returns as requested by a potential donor. But he and Rocha took advantage of opportunities to share the information they could.
Rocha, for example, lists 24 scholarships, grants and other awards on your YouCaring page. He wanted to show his potential helpers that he did not rely solely on flyers.
Rocha also included images of himself in the school, in the laboratory and at the end of the framed certificates. He also posted a screenshot of his GPA, just to make sure people knew what kind of investment they were making.
6. DO NOT TRUST THE CROWDFUNDING ONLY FOR DEBT HELP
Rocha has developed a strategy to guarantee as many donations as possible within the school. Bothering each of the department heads of their classes on their serious financial situation, the heads would inevitably talk about him on campus.
Then, when Rocha went to the financial aid office, they already had most of the details of her story. He said he received $ 8,000 in extra-state grants, plus an additional Perkins loan.
While Rocha spent many of her waking hours exploring ways to pay for her school, Legg analyzed her options for her growing student debt. He was consolidated; he refinanced; He was also on the road to cancel loans at any time.
Becoming “the guy who constantly asked for money” was more a last resort. It certainly was not his first choice.
To help make more than the minimum payments on his loan, Legg began collecting secondary jobs. One of them was in his alley: becoming a teacher in comedy clubs in nearby Dayton and Columbus. A weekend of this would give you enough money to make it worth it.
Crowdfunding is just one way to lighten the load; It is not the only way.
DO YOU NEED DEBT HELP? CONSIDER STUDENT LOANS FOR CROWDFUNDING
Legg and his wife almost end up paying a mortgage. They hope to divert that monthly payment for their loans to outstanding students. Rocha, of course, is still in the middle of her upbringing and will not face her debt until she leaves school.
Now you know why your campaigns are still in progress.
When you decide if you should start alone, it would be good to ask why not. It would still be better to look at maths.
If you were to raise $ 500 through crowdfunding student loans, for example, a flat-rate payment could save you months at the end of your loan. This is the real help of the debt.
Crowdfunding student loans are not equivalent to loan forgiveness, but they may hold you as Rocha or make timely payments like Legg. Use your lessons if you offer an opportunity for crowdfunding. This is his way of returning it to him.
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